Arthur Goldman is a rich Jewish industrialist, living in luxury in a Manhattan high-rise. He banters with his assistant Charlie, often shocking Charlie with his outrageousness and ...
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Arthur Goldman is a rich Jewish industrialist, living in luxury in a Manhattan high-rise. He banters with his assistant Charlie, often shocking Charlie with his outrageousness and irreverence about aspects of Jewish life. Nonetheless, Charlie is astonished when, one day, Israeli secret agents burst in and arrest Goldman for being not a Jewish businessman but a Nazi war criminal. Whisked to Israel for trial, Goldman forces his accusers to face not only his presumed guilt--but their own. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The meaning and relevance of the "glass booth" of the film's title is that it is a bulletproof glass booth placed in a courtroom to prevent the possibility of an assassination of the film's main character, subject and hero, Jewish Arthur Goldman, Nazi concentration camp survivor, who is on trial for war crimes, and may or may not be former Nazi SS Colonel Adolf Dorff, perpetrator of World War II atrocities. In film history, more often booths and cages have been shown in court-rooms in movies where usually serial killers have been on trial. See more »
The Nazi Concentration Camps were run by the SS. The Wehrmacht (the regular Germany Army, also referred to as the Heer) was not directly involved in running the camps. Also The SS used it's own rank titles, so Dorf would have been known as a Standartenfuhrer instead of an Oberst (Colonel). See more »
Interesting premise and source material, underwhelming execution.
Saw this for the first time recently at a International Jewish Film Festival screening at which both the director (the oft overrated and stylistically lacking Arthur Hiller...the Roger Donaldson of his generation) and star (Maximillian Schell) attended and spoke at. My expectations were high, but the film was quite a letdown. Hiller's direction was dull and generic and had the look and feel of a bad 70's television episode, while Schell brings new meaning to the term overacting (his Oscar nomination makes more sense in light of Al Pacino's Oscar win for his incessant mugging in "Scent of Woman").
The producer of the film mentioned that writer Robert Shaw (from which the source material came and a famous actor in his own right) asked to have his name taken off the film upon reading the screenplay (and then apparently asked to have it put back on later). Not having read his play, I found much of the dialogue awkward and stilted, although many of the statements and speeches in the film give an introspective view of not just the tragedy of the Holocaust, but also the logical if deluded mindset of those Germans that perpetrated such atrocities. Given the intriguing premise, it would have been interesting to see what the film would have been like in the hands of a better director and with the lead character played a bit more understated and nuanced (a great example would be Ian McKellan's brilliant performance in the otherwise flawed "Apt Pupil").
To be fair, the predominantly older Jewish audience I saw it with enjoyed it, although I would guess more out of obligation to the subject matter then to it's artistic merit. All in all, a fairly mediocre film for its' time with a over-the-top performance by Schell, neither of which have aged well. 5/10
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